Corpses of women dug up and used for 'ghost weddings' in rural China

Familes are reportedly prepared to pay up to £10,000 for a 'bride' to kee their deceased relatives company

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The corpses of women buried in a province in north China are being dug up and used for ‘ghost weddings’ in a bid by families of deceased bachelors to make them happy beyond the grave.

It is considered bad luck for a single man to be buried alone in China so, despite the ancient practice being banned years ago, families in rural areas are prepared to pay up to £10,000 to buy the corpse of a woman for their relative to be buried with.

The practice has increased in popularity in the Shanxi province in recent years, The Telegraph reported, with at least 30 corpses reported missing in Shanxi over the past three years, and three men arrested prior to that in 2013 for selling 10 corpses in Shanxi and the neighbouring province.

Chinese media also reported the arrest of three people who were discovered tomb raiding in Shanxi, reportedly attempting to steal the corpse of a young woman who had died days before, and in 2011, a man was arrested in Shanxi after murdering his wife in order to sell her body as a corpse bride.

Following the outlawing of the practice in 1949, many families in China would give a deceased bachelor a statue bride or groom, or one made from dough with black beans for eyes, which is the case in the majority of China, where using a real corpse is very rare.

However, in Shanxi, a traditional and more superstitiously-inclined area that has recently seen an increase in wealth, there is a demand for corpse brides – with a belief that using a real corpse will ward away angry spirits.